Links for 2015-04-16

  • Extracting Structured Data From Recipes Using Conditional Random Fields

    nice probabilistic/ML approach to recipe parsing

    (tags: nytimes recipes parsing text nlp machine-learning probabilistic crf++ algorithms feature-extraction)

  • Large-scale cluster management at Google with Borg

    Google’s Borg system is a cluster manager that runs hundreds of thousands of jobs, from many thousands of different applications, across a number of clusters each with up to tens of thousands of machines. It achieves high utilization by combining admission control, efficient task-packing, over-commitment, and machine sharing with process-level performance isolation. It supports high-availability applications with runtime features that minimize fault-recovery time, and scheduling policies that reduce the probability of correlated failures. Borg simplifies life for its users by offering a declarative job specification language, name service integration, real-time job monitoring, and tools to analyze and simulate system behavior. We present a summary of the Borg system architecture and features, important design decisions, a quantitative analysis of some of its policy decisions, and a qualitative examination of lessons learned from a decade of operational experience with it.
    (via Conall)

    (tags: via:conall clustering google papers scale to-read borg cluster-management deployment packing reliability redundancy)

  • Keeping Your Car Safe From Electronic Thieves – NYTimes.com

    In a normal scenario, when you walk up to a car with a keyless entry and try the door handle, the car wirelessly calls out for your key so you don’t have to press any buttons to get inside. If the key calls back, the door unlocks. But the keyless system is capable of searching for a key only within a couple of feet. Mr. Danev said that when the teenage girl turned on her device, it amplified the distance that the car can search, which then allowed my car to talk to my key, which happened to be sitting about 50 feet away, on the kitchen counter. And just like that, open sesame.
    What the hell — who designed a system that would auto-unlock based on signal strength alone?!!

    (tags: security fail cars keys signal proximity keyless-entry prius toyota crime amplification power-amplifiers 3db keyless)

  • Closed access means people die

    ‘We’ve paid 100 BILLION USD over the last 10 years to “publish” science and medicine. Ebola is a massive systems failure.’ See also https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20150409/17514230608/dont-think-open-access-is-important-it-might-have-prevented-much-ebola-outbreak.shtml : ‘The conventional wisdom among public health authorities is that the Ebola virus, which killed at least 10,000 people in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, was a new phenomenon, not seen in West Africa before 2013. […] But, as the team discovered, that “conventional wisdom” was wrong. In fact, they found a bunch of studies, buried behind research paywalls, that revealed that there was significant evidence of antibodies to the Ebola virus in Liberia and in other nearby nations. There was one from 1982 that noted: “medical personnel in Liberian health centers should be aware of the possibility that they may come across active cases and thus be prepared to avoid nosocomial epidemics.”

    (tags: deaths liberia ebola open-access papers elsevier science medicine reprints)

  • Making Pinterest — Learn to stop using shiny new things and love MySQL

    ‘The third reason people go for shiny is because older tech isn’t advertised as aggressively as newer tech. The younger companies needs to differentiate from the old guard and be bolder, more passionate and promise to fulfill your wildest dreams. But most new tech sales pitches aren’t generally forthright about their many failure modes. In our early days, we fell into this third trap. We had a lot of growing pains as we scaled the architecture. The most vocal and excited database companies kept coming to us saying they’d solve all of our scalability problems. But nobody told us of the virtues of MySQL, probably because MySQL just works, and people know about it.’ It’s true! — I’m still a happy MySQL user for some use cases, particularly read-mostly relational configuration data…

    (tags: mysql storage databases reliability pinterest architecture)

  • Microservices and elastic resource pools with Amazon EC2 Container Service

    interesting approach to working around ECS’ shortcomings — bit specific to Hailo’s microservices arch and IPC mechanism though. aside: I like their version numbering scheme: ISO-8601, YYYYMMDDHHMMSS. keep it simple!

    (tags: versioning microservices hailo aws ec2 ecs docker containers scheduling allocation deployment provisioning qos)

  • Please Kill Me (Eventually) | Motherboard

    There is much that the wise application of technology can do to help us ease off this mortal coil, instead of tormenting ourselves at the natural end of life in a futile, undignified and excruciating attempt to keep it somehow duct-taped on. Train more people in geriatrics, for example. Learn new ways to make life safe, healthy, fun and interesting for the old. Think like a community, a brotherhood, not like atomized competing individuals a few of whom can somehow “beat the system” of the universe. Maybe it is better to examine clearly what we are with a view to understanding and acceptance than it is to try to escape what perhaps should be our inevitable ending.

    (tags: death mortality cryogenics alcor geriatrics life singularity mind-uploading ray-kurzweil)

  • CGA in 1024 Colors – a New Mode: the Illustrated Guide

    awesome hackery. brings me back to my C=64 demo days

    (tags: pc cga graphics hacks art 1024-colours)

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